Skip to main content

Western New York Explorer's Guide

The only comprehensive travel guide to the region

About Us
Contact Us
Site Map
Member Login
About Author
Media Interviews
WNY Resources
WNY Attractions and More
Explore WNY blog
Upcoming events
Celebrate Black History
Naples, NY
Mayville Ice Festival
Mid winter getaways
Art and History Museums
Visit Aviation Museums
Hiking Trails
Welland Canal
Athenaeum hotel
Bemus Point
Cobblestone Trail
Niagara Pkwy part 1
Niagara Pkwy part 2
Rock Park
Clifton Springs
WNY Amish
Nature in Winter
Wine & Chocolate
Winter Wonderland
Outdoors in winter
Inside in winter
Old Fort Niagara
Power Vista
WNY Waterfalls
Dads and Cars
Native American
Lake Ontario Shore
Lockport Cave
Amish traditions
Day Trips Rock
Country Barn Quilt
Halloween in WNY
Fest of Lights
Chautauqua Holiday
NYC by Train
Chautauqua Wine Trail
Mayville Ice Castle
Outdoor winter fun
Chautauqua Institution
Farm Markets
Recharge at Chautauqua
Niagara Wine Trail
Local boat rides
Local beaches
Chautauqua County
Lewiston Jazz Fest
Buffalo Waterfront
Pumpkin Fun
Chau Wine Trail LEL
Fall Road Trips
Off season getaways
Free attractions
Winter Fun
Spring Break
Winery Train
St Lawrence Seaway
Seaway Trail Journey
Welland Canal LEL
Fall Festivals
Scenic Fall Drives
Holiday Hollow
Shopping in NYC
Holiday Shopping Corning
Buffalo has Wright
Buffalo Religious Art
Ten must see getaways
Chautauqua and Erie
Welland Murals
The Tonawandas
Ten Hidden Places
Wing Festival
Presque Isle
Lewisburg PA
Victorian Christmas
Chocolate Trail
Fun with Grandkids
George Eastman House
National Historic Landmar
Thing for Wings
Olcott Beach
Little League Museum
Rock City
Glass Blowing
Queenston ON
Lawn Fetes
Chautauqua Co Bicentennia
Shaw Festival
Chautauqua County 2
Olcott Carousel
10 Hidden Gems
Olcott Beach 2
Hot Dog Spots
Enjoy Presque Isle
One Tank Trips
Belhurst Castle
Shop in Lewiston
Cuba Cheese Museum
Pumpkinville 2
Snowshoe 2
Spooky Treats
Walkable Shopping
Norman Rockwell Museum
Fatima Shrine Lights
Christmas Lights
Albright Knox
Darwin Martin
Maple Weekend
Divine Mercy Shrine
Erie Canal
Cape Cod
Cobblestone Trail 2
8 Great Fall Road Trips
Little Known Places
Buy Local
Made in America Store
Great Lakes Seaway Trail
Lovely Gardens
WNY Festivals
Erie PA Waterfront
Grape Discovery Center
Salt Sanctuary
Holiday Hollow 2
Historic Hull House
Buffalo Religious Arts Ce
Mall Madness
One day holiday getaways
New York City by train
Cabin Fever
Niagara on the Lake
Elmira 150th Anniversary
Carousels of WNY
Ontario Beach Park
Lockport Locks
USA Bird Supply Blog Arch
Backroads and Byways of U

Forever Young

June 2013





Enjoying our region’s lovely gardens


            Late spring and early summer are one of the most beautiful and colorful times of the year for area gardens. There are many lovely gardens, both indoors and outdoors, throughout our region you’ll want to check out this time of year.


Indoor Gardens

Here are a few indoor gardens that you can visit year-round, not matter what the weather.


Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, 716-8271584, .Open daily 10-5, admission $6. The botanical gardens, located at the entrance of Frederick Law Olmsted designed South Park, consists of 11 greenhouses. The conservatory, based on the famous Crystal Palace in England, first opened in 1900. The most prominent feature is the 67’ palm dome, which contains palms and other tropical fruit trees. Other greenhouses feature flowers and plants from around the world. Seasonal flower displays include the upcoming Celebration of Coleus & Color (June 15-28) a chrysanthemum show in fall, and poinsettias in December.


Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse,

7145 Niagara River Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario
, 905-371-0254. Admission $5.This greenhouse, located just south of the falls tourist area, features 8 different flower displays throughout the year, as well as tropical plants on display year-round. In June enjoy geraniums and in July and August a variety of summer blooms. Outdoors they have an extensive rose garden, as well as a fragrance garden for the visually impaired.


Lamberton Conservatory, Highland Park, 450 Highland Avenue, Rochester 585-256-4950,.   Admission $3. Located in Rochester’s Olmsted-designed Highland Park (best known for the Lilac festival in May) the conservatory was originally constructed in 1911 (The deteriorating original structure was torn down and an exact replica reconstructed in the mid-2000’s with modern materials.) It houses a display of seasonal plants, which is changed five times a year, as well as tropical plants.


Outdoor gardens

There are also many landscaped outdoor gardens that one can enjoy this time of year.


Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, 2565 Niagara River Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Free admission to grounds, fee charged for butterfly conservatory.  This 99-acre site, located just 10 minutes north of Niagara Falls, features fully accessible, beautiful gardens which are tended to by students attending the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. Gardens include perennials, herbs, vegetables, as well as a rose garden that features over 2,400 roses. Also located on the grounds is the 11,000 square foot climate-controlled butterfly conservatory, which features thousands of tropical butterflies.


JapaneseGardens. Behind the BuffaloHistoryMuseum, 25 Nottingham Terrace, Buffalo. Free admission. This hidden gem, located on 6 acres on DelawarePark’s MirrorLake, just behind the BuffaloHistoryMuseum, was competed in 1974 and renovated several times over the years. This serene garden represents the long friendship between Buffalo and sister city Kanazawa, Japan.


Sonnenberg Gardens 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, 585-394-4922,  Admission $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students, $1 children 4-12. This 50-acre estate, part of the New York State Parks system, features beautifully restored gardens along with a 40-room 1887 Queen Anne style mansion. Gardens include a Japanese garden, rose garden, blue and white garden, pansy garden, old-fashioned garden, and rock garden, just to name a few. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was the summer home of Frederick Thompson, who was the director of the bank known today as Citibank. One can sample and purchase NY State wines at the adjacent Finger Lakes Wine Center.


Gardens at the George Eastman House, 900 East Avenue, Rochester, 585-271-3361, Admission $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, under 12 free. I’m sure many readers are familiar with the George Eastman house, which houses the International Museum of Photography and Film. Besides being a great museum, it also has beautifully restored and maintained gardens surrounding the 37-room mansion. The gardens  have been restored using the original landscape plan, which was designed by noted landscape architect Alling DeForest. The terrace garden has over 90 varieties of perennials, while the west garden features shrubs, perennials, and a variety of ground cover. A rock garden, located in the back of the property, has perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and ground cover, all under a grape arbor. You can visit the rock garden and west garden for free; the rest of the gardens are included with museum admission, with daily tours offered.


Nannen Arboretum28 Parkside Drive, Ellicottville 716-699-2377,  Free admission. Since 1976 this 8-acre site has been a place where people can appreciate nature. It includes over 400 trees and shrubs, as well as a Japanese stone meditation garden, herb garden, and a pond known as Lake Nipponica.


Lana’s the Little House, Forestville,716-965-2798, Open daily, year-round, by appointment only. For the past ten years, Lana has been conducting private tours of her storybook cottage home and gardens, as well as hosting afternoon teas and workshops.




Garden Festivals

4th annual National Garden Festival. This Buffalo based event runs from June 21 to August 4th. It includes garden walks every weekend, tours, workshops at garden centers, open gardens every Thursday and Friday, and more, including a Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale on June 30th at the Parkside Lodge in Delaware Park. See their website for more information.


Garden Walk  July 28-29. Garden Walk Buffalo, which is the largest garden walk in America, features almost 400 gardens open for tours. Maps of the gardens will be available online a few weeks before the event.



Upstate Gardeners Journal  585-538-4980. This guide to everything you want to know about gardening, local gardens, and gardening events is published six times a year. You can get it mailed to you for $15 a year or pick it up free at garden attractions and garden centers.